What is Typhoid Fever?
Typhoid fever is a bacterial disease, caused by Salmonella typhi ( S.typhi ). It is transmitted through the ingestion of food or drink contaminated by faeces or urine of infected people.
A person with typhoid fever has this bacterium in their blood stream and intestinal tract. They can infect the other people by contaminating food and water.
Malaysia reported a total of 325 cases of typhoid and paratyphoid in 2007 (Incidence rate 1.2/100,000 population)
What are common food Implicated?
- Undercooked shellfish (etak, cockles, kupang, clams, oyster)
- Raw vegetables (lettuces, ulam)
- Contaminated Cendol
- Raw milk
What are the signs and symptoms?
- Sustained and prolonged fever up to 40°C
- Stomach ache
- Malaise (Weekness/ Lethargic)
- Loss of apetite
- Dry cough
- Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
- Rose coloured spots on the upper body
- Enlarged spleen and livers
usually develop after 1-2 weeks but can also occur from 3 days to 3 months after exposure.
How does it spread?
- Consumption of food and drink which has been contaminated by S.typhi bacteria
- Consumption of food and drink which has been prepared by persons carrying the bacteria (typhoid carrier)
- Often fatal if not treated early and adequately
- Persons with no symptoms / recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry the bacteria is called a “carrier”.
- A person with typhoid fever should seek medical help.
- Antibiotic such as chloramphenicol, ampicilin and ciprofloxacin are commonly prescribed.
- Wash hands properly with soap and water after visiting toilet and before preparing food.
- Only eat foods that have been thoroughly cooked
- Avoid risky foods and drinks (raw vegetables and fruits, street foods, ice during outbreak)
- Drink only boiled or bottled water.
- Avoid ice unless the ice is made from boiled or bottled water
- Get vaccinated against typhoid fever
- Maintain cleanliness and proper sanitation especially after flood or natural disaster.
- Use only clean water for food preparation
What should I do if I am suspected to have typhoid fever?
See you doctor immediately
|Last Reviewed||:||26 April 2012|
|Writer||:||Dr. Aaisah Senin|
|Reviewer||:||Dr. Marzida Abd Latib|